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Brown welcomes probe as more Gupta links emerge

Jul 26 2017 11:49

Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she welcomed all investigations, as more details of her office's links to the controversial Guptas emerged on Wednesday.

"There are no holy grails," her spokesperson Colin Cruywagen said. "The investigators must do their work."

Brown said she supports the Hawks' investigations into allegations of corruption published by media over the past month or two.

On Wednesday morning, Business Day named Brown’s personal assistant Kim Davids as the beneficiary of a R32 000 stay at the now infamous Oberoi hotel in Dubai. This included a chauffeured drive to the Gupta family’s home in the city, leaked emails and documents showed.

Davids' visit seems to have coincided with that of Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and former finance minister Des van Rooyen, who also stayed there at the Gupta family’s expense. The personal assistant admitted to Business Day that she was in Dubai at the same time as the emails mentioned, but said she footed her own bill.

Business Day's report raised the question whether Davids had been representing Brown at an informal gathering in Dubai which took place during a time when critical government deals were seemingly discussed with the Gupta family and their business entities. Cruywagen told Business Day that Brown was in South Africa at the time.

Brown has instructed her office to assist with any probe by making documents and officials available to the investigation as required, Cruywagen said.

Power utility Eskom faces several investigations, including a Public Protector probe. That investigation will focus on allegations published as part of the #GuptaLeaks saga pointing to issues at Eskom, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and Transnet.

Public Protector spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana confirmed earlier to Fin24 that Brown's role in irregularities would form part of the probe.

The firm will also be investigated by the Special Investigating Unit, after Brown instructed the branch to probe all coal contracts and tenders at Eskom.

Cruywagen said Brown was the first member of the executive to call for further investigation into the former Public Protector's State of Capture Report.

"Proper investigative processes are the only mechanisms that can lift the clouds hanging over state-owned companies - and by extension, over the sovereign," Cruywagen said.

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